It's the season for giving, so Hot Since 82 and Shadow Child have decided to exchange presents - or, more specically, remix each other's tracks. The result is a four-tracker that features two original tracks and two remixes. Hot Since 82's snappy, tech-meets-electro house jam "Knee Deep In Louise" gets given a right Royal boot up the backside by bass music fiends Shadow Child - think rave riffs, gut-twisting sub bass action and 2012's most omnipresent electronic music attraction, the pitched-down vocal sample. Meanwhile, Hot Since 82 turn Shadow Child's Hypercolour-ish garage/deep house assault, "So High", into a strobelight house anthem with woozy, pitched down R&B vocal samples and swinging drums aplenty.
Few artists have enjoyed such attention and warm acclaim as Shadow Child. Not just surfing the recent deep house / UK garage wave, Dave Spoon's alter-ego is one the producers that caused the tsunami in the first place. This comprehensive collection of originals and remixes showcases his influences with stark, sharp consistency. Each track deserves a place in all good house DJs' playlists but highlights can be found in the staccato minor key stabs and swaggering rhythm of "The Verdict", the oceanic depths of his stuttering, fuzzy two-step shuffle of "Southsea" and the speaker-shattering Metalheadz homage that is his remix of Justin Martin & Leroy Peppers' "Riding Spaceships". Twenty six reminders why Shadow Child has been one of the most influential artists of recent times, this is essential.
When an EP comes with a radio edit and this many remixes, it's fair to say that the label think it has the legs to crossover into the mainstream. Certainly, this latest missive from Dave Spoon under his Shadow Child alias has the potential to be big. Think epic builds, chiming melodies, sparkling house pianos and a big, heavy bassline. Oh, and a bold vocal about the joys of Fridays. Job done. Remix-wise, most attention will be focused on the MK Medicine Dub. Full of his trademark vocal cut-ups and gargantuan pianos, you'll be hearing it everywhere over the next few months. Elsewhere, there's a soaring D&B remix from The Prototypes, a murky, acid house influenced take from Maison Sky, and a couple of solid reworks from Spoon himself.
Cymbal-heavy UK garage beats? Check! Sub-bothering bassline? Check! Dreamy, oddly pitched vocal sample? Check! Sweaty, wide-eyed late night vibe? Check! Result: "23" has all the right ingredients to impress bass music heads - and those into Hypercolour-ish deep house/bass music blends. It also comes backed with a couple of notable remixes, with bass veteran Zinc providing his own typically big VIP version. In truth, it's not that much different from the original, though Zinc's build-up extension, additional wobbly noises and bass EQ'ing work bring the most out of the near-anthemic original. Kry Wolf make the most of the original's dreamy samples and beef up the bottom-end wobble on their in-your-face remix.
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